There are over 4 million homes in the UK that aren't connected to the mains gas network, for these homes, an oil boiler installation is a great solution. Oil central heating systems are just as compact as gas boilers, surprisingly clean and quiet, plus very economical to run too. There are two main types of Oil fired central heating systems, standard or combination (combi) boilers. Oil fired boilers do everything their conventional gas fired counterparts do, you can also choose from heat only or combination oil boilers.
Condensing oil boilers are available which recycle the heat using a heat exchanger to pre-heat the water in the boiler system, reducing energy consumption and fuel costs. The main difference between gas and oil boilers is that the fuel required to power your oil boiler is delivered and stored in a tank. You can choose from any local supplier to give you the best deal when purchasing your heating oil.
Regular servicing helps all boilers to run more efficiently and oil fired boilers are no different. Regular servicing means that you use less fuel which saves you money in the long run, even when taking the cost of servicing into account. Most oil fired boiler manufacturers recommend a service is carried out every year, these services will also help to identify and problems early, preventing potential breakdowns which leave you without heating. Annual servicing consists of replacing the nozzle, cleaning the blast tube, testing solenoids, check/clean photocell, test ignition transformer, replacing any worn drive couplings in the oil pump, cleaning internal pump filter, lubrication of the motor shaft and bearings, adjustment of electrode settings, plus checking and adjusting oil pressure and air settings to recommended settings. Most heating engineers will also carry out checks on the oil tank including cleaning or replacing filter/strainer and a complete tank risk assessment in accordance with OFTEC 600A. The average oil fired boiler servicing cost will vary depending on where you live and the make of your boiler, but typically costs between £50 and £180.
OFTEC is the Oil Firing Technical Association, they represent the oil heating industry in the UK and establish the standards for competence within the domestic oil heating industry by ensuring the quality of people and businesses working in this area. OFTEC's current membership includes companies such as Aga, Grant Engineering, Firebird Products, Kingspan Environmental, Riello UK, Warm-flow Engineering, and the Worcester Bosch Group. OFTEC was formed in 1991, replacing the Domestic Oil Burner Equipment Testing Association. During the 1990's the oil fired heating engineers were mainly Shell, BP and ex-employees. The oil companies and equipment manufacturers supported OFTEC to write new technical standards and training manuals, providing a focus for the industry.
If you want to change to a oil combination boiler in the same place as the old standard boiler, the cost will be from around £2500 upwards and will include emptying all the loft tanks and pipes and removing the hot water cylinder. However, this is only an average cost and you will need to get a quote from a professional heating engineer before making any decisions.
Wherever possible choose from personal recommendations, failing that find at least 3 engineers locally and check they have good ratings and reviews online. An easy way to do this is to use the "post your job" button on the right hand side of this page to gather quotes from tradesman near you so you can compare prices. Call each of them to provide advice and written quotations, while at the same time ask for references and speak to previous customers. Choose an engineer that is professionally qualified and vetted by trade organisations such as OFTEC and the competent persons scheme.